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Team News And Stats As Arsenal Take On Porto In The UCL RO16

In an attempt to go to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009–10, Arsenal will play Porto tonight for the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 match.

After a six-year break from the competition, the Gunners won their group and will now play the 30-time Portuguese champions to secure a spot in the final eight.

Porto is now sitting third in Portugal’s Primera Liga, seven points behind the leaders, while Mikel Arteta’s team is vying for the Premier League crown as well.

In Group H, Sergio Conceicao’s club finished second, falling short of Barcelona for first place based on head-to-head results.

“We don’t have the experience, that’s the reality – 95% of these players haven’t played this competition, they haven’t played the last 16,” Arteta said.

“I haven’t [managed at this stage]. But they have so much energy and enthusiasm to play well and that’s our desire and how we’re going to play the game.

“It’s great. We have earned the right to be here. It’s been seven years since we’ve been at the top table for these kind of matches and 14 years since we were able to go to the next stage.

“That’s the challenge. We know what is ahead of us, but we are very excited to face it and to go for it with full belief, that’s for sure.”

Team News

After missing four months due to a thigh injury, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has resumed training, and Fabio Vieira is very close to making a comeback following groin surgery in November.

After missing Saturday’s 5-0 victory at Burnley due to injuries, Gabriel Jesus (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (calf), and Takehiro Tomiyasu (niggle) are still questionable.

Mehdi Taremi may not be available for Porto as the Iranian striker’s thigh injury, which he suffered during Sunday’s training, was verified by the club.

Nigerian full-back Zaidu Sanusi is already sidelined for the entire season due to a knee injury, and center-back Ivan Marcano is another long-term absentee for the Portuguese team.

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